“I was 6 years old when a close relative of my family started to sexually abuse me. He used to strip me and touch me and whenever I got scared and told him to stop, he would physically harass me to keep his deed a secret. He used to beat me, kick me in my balls and hit my head against the wall. I was so scared of him and never told it to anyone and let’s just say, this abuse continued for the next 10 years.
Only when I touched the age of 16, did I finally understand the topic of sex and realized that I was getting molested by a man which was wrong. So, I planned to open up about this to my mom and her reply shocked me because I was told to keep quiet for the sake of family’s respect.
I was lost; low on confidence and ashamed of myself. Because of one man, I was scared of all other men. As the loner I was, I never mingled with guys in my school and avoided everyone and stayed alone in the shadows. But the kids still found a way to draw attention on me. They’d clap and call me ‘Chakka, hijrah ‘ every time I walked by. Even my teacher reprimanded me for being ‘too girly’.
That’s when I turned into the internet for answers. I realized that it’s not only me, there are many more people who had been through such abuses either by strangers or their own family members. I had never spoken about this to anyone because I was ashamed. But now I had finally understood that whatever was happening was wrong. So I decided to deal with this problem by myself.
I could stop that rapist from touching me. I could fight back and save myself. I could warn him not to do this to anyone else. And for the sake of the family, I could not sue him and give him the punishment he deserved but at least I was satisfied that I was brave enough to stop him. I felt as if I’d overcome the biggest obstacle of my life. And now I was free from 10 years of abuse.
Later in life, I did meet a few good friends who told me that I am fine the way I am and made me feel awesome for being myself and helped me ignore some harsh comments that were thrown my way! I always thought that it’s better to end everything by suicide, but then realized that it was foolishness to give up my life for some people’s sick mind and hypocrisy.
But healing is often glorified. I still get triggered when I get called chakka or have to meet that relative on family occasions. Believe it or not, being bullied goes after school till college and even today, some people make fun of my hand gestures or the way I talk or the pictures I post on social media.
It still breaks me to hear such things but I’m using my pain to share my story. Because I want everyone to know that just because it’s family, it doesn’t mean it’s right. And masculine traits alone don’t define a man, it’s his words and deeds alone!”
#Abuse #sexualassault #metoo #survivor #sexualabuse #domesticviolence #sexualviolence #consent #believesurvivors #mentalhealth #awareness #abuse #supportsurvivors #sexualharassment #metoomovement #nomeansno #empowerment #sexualassaultawareness #Madras #HumansofMadras